Monday, July 30, 2007

Natural Brew Draft Root Beer: The Tree Huggin' Companion

I found Natural Brew Draft Root Beer at the local Price Cutter grocery store and it is by far the most complex brew we have evaluate thus far. The taste is packed full of more distinct flavors than what you might find at a Natural Food Organic Buffet Restaurant (which would be interesting in it's own respect). Virgil's Root Beer also claims all natural ingredients, but let me tell you there is a huge difference. Natural Brew chooses ingredients only true tree huggin' enthusiasts can appreciate. Having been raised for some of my childhood in the state of Maine (a place where natural food is very typical) I am able to truly appreciate the uniqueness of this particular brew. But the real question is how it stands against the standard.

This brew was similar to the standard in spritz aroma and color, the head however was something most refreshing. The foam was very similar in thickness and depth to that of our standard but the color.....the color was eye opening, it was actually white, pure white, not a hint of brown in it. I am not sure why this was but I liked it! White foam is so cool, after all we usually think of foam as being white but in reality it hardly ever is. Not the case with Natural Brew, it was as white as the clouds in the sky.

The flavor, as mentioned above, caught me off guard. I am not sure what it was, maybe the licorice, but it hit me hard. I never would have expected that in a root beer, but there it was. At first I thought it didn't belong but after a few swigs the flavor became very enticing. It reminded me of the Maine brew, Moxie, which is actually repulsive at first but after about the fourth drink you are in soft drink heaven. The flavor was the most unique root beer flavor I have ever tasted and I emphasize that it was root beer flavor, some how they still pulled it off. But I agree with Jeff in that this is not a brew for everyone, try Moxie first, if you like that check out Natural Brew.

To conclude my evaluation I want to comment on the glass amber bottle that this brew is packaged in, the logo carries you away to a rocky mountain stream deep in the thick woods of some northern state of our fine country. I am not sure that this will be the experience you will have when you pop the top of this brew but it was an interesting way for them to market the stuff. It was a cool logo all the same.

In the end, with all things considered, and emphasizing that this brew may not be for you, I award Natural Brew Draft Root Beer with -4 Frosty Mugs. If you have a natural flavor I am sure you will agree, if you do not have a tolerance for natures way than stay away from this bottle or you will not be a happy camper!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Natural Brew Draft Root Beer. Different and Good.

This is the final review from the last shipment received from Adam.

Natural Brew Draft Root Beer is a very unique root beer with the best head to date. The foam sprung up quick and hung out for quite a while. The aroma leaving the bottle was a good combination of licorice and other earthy (root) aromas.

Out of all the brews we have reviewed thus far, this brew gave my mouth the most trouble determining which flavor was the strongest. I actually did not like the first swill out of my frosty mug. However, the after taste drew me back for more. Again, the same happened with the following drink. The problem with this brew is that I have had this flavor before - at least the major flavor in this brew. What my mouth was reacting with was the anise. One of my favorite Mexican beverages (Jamaica) is made from hibiscus flowers and our family recipe uses anise as a major ingredient. So after a minor mental adjustment I could enjoy this brew for what it is.

Overall, this brew is good. I have a pretty good feeling that many people will not like it. In fact, my wife asked what our rating scale was after she tried it. I told her 0-5 Frosty Mugs. She ranked it a 0. I will give it much higher than that. It is a solid 3.5 Frosty Mugs.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Root Beer Mother-Load at Jungle Jim's

On a recent visit to the Buckeye State I took a short drive down to Cincinnati to shop at one of the most unique grocery stores you may ever find across this great land. Jungle Jim's International Market is by far one of the most precious jewels Ohio has to offer. This place is worth the drive no matter the distance.

photos obtained from
Along with the widest varieties of fruits, vegetables, seafood, foreign food, and cheese Jungle Jim's also has an entire section of hot sauces from around the world. Now this is no ordinary grocery store, oh no, not even close. To simply drive by the place is to experience something quite out of the ordinary. Even their bathroom facilities take a bit getting used to since they actually look like a porta-potty but in fact are a modern full service facility appropriately decorated in jungle attire. Best of all however, there is an entire aisle dedicated to soft drinks from around the world. I originally would visit Jungle Jim's because they are the only store that carries Moxie outside the state of Maine. My recent visit however was to capture other items from the soft drink aisle, root beer of course.

The soft drink aisle borders the Mexican food aisle of which Pedro is always watching over. I like to think he is also a lover of root beer too and that is why they placed him in this area of the store. So as I looked over the mother-load of root beer I quickly realized I would have to be selective. There were probably 25 brews I had never tried before but I decided I would only purchase 10 brands (2 bottles each of course). I had a very good friend along with me who helped in the process (a big thanks out to Michael of Framed Poetics). We made our selection and headed for the cash register. As we were checking out, Michael decided he would use the moment to advertise our little website here to the two cashier girls. So if they were crazy enough to take his advice and check out the site I extend my apologies for my crazy friend and also a thanks to you for visiting. In all I walked away with 10 new brews, some good laughs because of Michael and some embarrassment because of him too (what are friends for).

I wish to also take this time to thank my wife and Michael's wife Amy who had to put up with Michael and I during our little Jungle Jim's adventure. They certainly displayed some serious patients during the purchase of 10 future brews for the Rootbeer Brothers. Thank you ladies :)

Now in time as Jeff and I exchange these brews you will get to see what exactly was found at Jungle Jim's. Keep sippin' the brew, we will be back soon........


Saturday, July 7, 2007

Ohio Root Beer Stands

B&K Rootbeer
301 Riverside Drive
Sidney, OH 45365-2853

Jolly's Drive In
210 Erie
Hamilton, OH 45011
Portage Lakes Rootbeer
3405 Manchester Road
Akron, OH 44319-1412

Arizona Root Beer Stands

Carter's Drive In
575 South Haskell Avenue
Willcox, AZ 85643-2719

Indiana Root Beer Stands

1020 Logan Street
Mishawaka, IN 46544